Paschal Emeka, Abuja
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has advised users of engine oil to be cautious in making purchases of the product to avoid patronage of substandard and life-endangering products.
The Director-General, SON, Mallam Farouk Salim gave this advice during a standards enforcement activity where the Surveillance, Investigation and Monitoring (SIM) Unit of SON uncovered a contract blending plant which engages in the production of substandard engine oil.
The enforcement exercise was a result of intelligence gathered regarding a particular product, Efemaco Engine oil which has been in circulation for a couple of months, collaboration between SON and FCID Alagbon produced a suspect, Mr. Humble Igwe who led the SON team to the contract blending plant where various brands of engine oil were being manufactured.
Represented by the Director, Lagos Regional Office and Coordinator, SIM Unit, Mr Suleiman Isa, the SON Chief Executive directed that the premises of Mate Energy Industries Limited, located at Shimawa area of Ogun State be sealed indefinitely.
He described the situation where any trader can walk into a blending plant and demand that a brand of engine oil should be counterfeited and adulterated as shocking, stressing that this is indeed a wake-up call for all Nigerians and a signal to particularly the Standards Organisation of Nigeria that there is still a lot of work to be done.
According to Salim, the issue of contract blending, a situation where people are paid to blend engine oil to produce substandard variants that have no close or remote resemblance to the original brand of engine oil is a crime that would be prosecuted in line with the provisions of the SON Act 14 of 2015 and the criminal code
He advised the public to patronize only certified Made – in – Nigeria brands of engine oil with the MANCAP logo and imported brands that have undergone the SON off-shore conformity assessment (SONCAP) processes and are duly registered for traceability and quality verification.
Fourteen brands of lubricants discovered to be manufactured by Mate Energy Industries Limited include, Trust lubricant fluid, Bouton Panache, Crescent, Golden link, Beacon, and Efemaco.
The facilities of Mate Energy Industries Limited and its contents will remain sealed, while samples from all the brands will be taken for testing to ascertain the quality of all the brands.